Do you ever push yourself outside your comfort zone?
There’s a chance we could all push the envelop a little harder and more often.
There are interesting ways yoga teaches us to explore and helps us to fruitfully step outside of our comfort zone.
#1. Appreciate the journey, not the destination
While I write this post I’m on an extended trip with my husband and our one-year-old son. We’ve spent time with family, time in hotels, and lots of time on the road to get to our final destination in Colorado.
My husband and I love trips away from home. It takes us away from our normal lives so we can more easily look back, and think about where we are, and why we’re there. It’s a great reflective exercise that has given us clarity in our major life decisions. It is like a forced gut check.
One might wonder, does this represents an appreciation of the journey instead of the destination? It is an elusive feeling that comes naturally, but maybe it is where we are with road trips, and how they help us.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re loving getting out of Austin’s extended forecast filled with 100 degree days. But it’s part of the journey as well.
Yoga has made this all possible. Years of yoga practice has made me much more attune with my body. I’m able to listen to what it wants, and to realize what is wrong or right.
This is a fundamental part of yoga, and, believe it or not, this is a fundamental part of the practice of enjoying the journey. Knowing what is right for you in the moment and in the future is very hard. Knowing how to figure this out is what yoga teaches us. It’s very much about patience and the practice of self-reflection.
Do it today: Patience in your practice! Move slower and more deliberately through your poses. Concentrate on your breath and how it regulates the movement of your body. This will give you a better sense of yourself and your body, and will translate into a more profound understanding of how you’re responding to your practice.
It may sound like a leap, but this practice in awareness of our body will strengthen the awareness of the wonderful path we are all on.
As Yoga Lisa DC puts it:
#2 Challenge yourself to new experiences
Do you ever purposely get lost?
How comfortable are you introducing yourself to a stranger?
When was the last time you were scared?
Getting outside our comfort zone can lead to many new wonderful experiences and can ultimately change the direction of our life, in a good way!
We’ve heard that to be successful in business, we have to network, network, network! This strategy isn’t unique to MBA’s.
And it isn’t just limited to connecting to new people, it works just as well, and is just as important, with experiences.
The more we see and feel in life, the better we understand how we react to these feelings.
A yoga practice is a life journey that can lead us down infinite physical, mental, and spiritual roads. Yoga encourages us to explore these roads, and gives us a way to do so in a supported and structured way.
Do it today: Explore alternate forms of yoga, or take classes from different teachers or in different studios. Listen to what reasonates within you, but be open to new forms and ways to practice. You might just surprise yourself!
Another way to challenge ourselves outside of yoga: Do One Thing A Week provides help with 52 new experiences a year. And they have a great new yoga challenge, Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge, even for practitioners of other forms of yoga.
#3 Empower yourself
A dedicated yoga practice strengthens us physically and mentally.
It gives us confidence in our body, and clarity in our mind.
This provides the resolve and energy to take on the challenges that we put in front of ourselves.
Do it today: Stick to it! The resolve it takes to grab your mat and get yourself to the studio is what it takes. And keep your routine, whether it’s once a day or once a week. Find the time, it will come back to you ten fold!